1979 College Football Recap

Updated August 5, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

Final AP Top 20

Bowl Games with Top 20 Teams

Div. 1–A Conference Champs

Heisman Trophy Voting

Other Major Award Winners

Consensus All-America Team

Alabama successfully defended its national championship in 1979, the seventh time that's been done in the 44 years of the AP poll. But Bama, Southern Cal and Oklahoma ranking 1–2–3 for the second year in a row was a first.

Except for a troublesome 3–0 squeaker against LSU, Alabama faced little resistance in piling up 11 regular season wins and a third straight SEC title. The Tide met SWC co-champ Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl and won 24–9.

Earle Bruce succeeded Woody Hayes at Ohio State and brought the Buckeyes through the regular season undefeated and untied. After beating Michigan for the first time in four years, the Bucks lost to Southern Cal in the Rose Bowl, 17–16. The defeat was the 10th in 11 years for the Big Two (OSU and Michigan) in Pasadena.

USC's Rose Bowl victory was the third in four years for coach John Robinson, who replaced John McKay in 1976. The Trojans also won the Heisman Trophy, their first since O.J. Simpson, when running back Charles White outpolled the incumbent, Billy Sims of Oklahoma.

Houston won a piece of its third SWC title since joining the conference in 1976. The Cougars then beat Nebraska 17–14 for its second Cotton Bowl victory.

Bowl game of the Year? Unbeaten BYU lost to Indiana, 38–37, as the lead changed hands eight times in the Holiday Bowl.

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